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Larger, single-use, staging motor availibility

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Nite Builder

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Gonna make you guys work for this one...

I understand there are a few companies still out there that make single use staging motors larger than an "Estes D12-0. I have only found one company, but I understand they are no longer making them. I'd appreciate any info on the "where-abouts" of these motors or if they actually still even exist......
 

astronboy

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Are you referring to Black Powder motors or AP motors like Aerotech? ESTES does make an E9-0. This is the largest BP motor currently in production.
 

n3tjm

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Estes never marketed the E9-0... I guess they figured that it did not have sufficient lifting power for two stage operations.... They do have a E9-P though...

The motors that you are talking about are from Flight Systems (FSI). They do not exist any more, went out of business aroujnd 1995... but you see some of their E60-0 and F100-0 motors floating around the auction sites once-in-a-while. If you manage to find one... chances are, you will blow up what ever rocket you try to fly them in (That is how I lost my first Initiator) ... E60... KABOOM!!!
 

Neil

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Let me guess... Cracked propellant slug?
 

astronboy

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Thanks n3tjm.

I could have sworn that I saw an E9-0 somewhere.... it must have been a P.

Henway... I wure would like to see some heavy lifting BP motors. Even a B14 would be nice.

I have written to both Bill Stine at QUEST and Carl at SEMROC requesting B14s.
 

marvSRG

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AHH! I spent 30 minutes writing the first reply to this, but the file I attached was to big and I accidentally got brought back to a blank page. Grrrr. I hate it when that happens...and the 2nd time is never as good as the first. Oh well. So again.....

Yeah, it would be nice to have some heavier lifting and larger size BP motors...there were some in the past. As many have said the most well known big and heavly lifting BP motors were the notorious FSI E60's and F100's. These were coreburning (therefore very fast) cardboard cased BP motors. An even more unreliable past big BP motor was the E15. All of these motors (especially the E15) tended to be very unreliable and they are all now OOP....FSI is out of business. It seems that BP motors begin having problems in large 24mm up sizes. As Neil mentioned, the grains were very sensitive and a hairline crack in the propellant would cause problems, and also many other problems have plagued BP motors...I don't know specifically what all these are but some of them I think have to do with the continued use of the rolled cardboard case, and coreburning BP motors (like the E60 and F100) can easily overpressurize due to the speed BP burns at, and a coreburning motor increases the surface area tremendously, therefore increasing combustion speed, and then often resulting in the motor CATOing as it can't contain itself. So in general, BP just isn't well suited for larger motors b/c of the many reliability factors that must be considered. However, Rocketflite used to have their "Silver Streak" line of large BP motors in sizes from E to H. Although they had their problems, these motors were much more reliable and much cooler. #1, they had cardboard wrapped T-6 aluminum cases...this greatly increased case strength, allowing the motors to better withstand the great force of the quick burning BP (especially because these were also coreburning). #2 these motors had a much better record and were simply more reliale...probably because they had the aluminum case, were fabricated better, and had other much more reliable qualities than motors like FSI and the old Estes E. #3, these motors used "modified" blackpowder....and the only "modification" I can think of was the addition of titanium pieces to the propellant. There may have been some more additives to "tone down" and make the BP more suitable for the motors, but I'm not sure. Whether there were any other additives, it doesn't really matter...the addition of the titanium created a stunning special effect. The glowing and burning Ti chunks were shot out of the motor as it burned, creating a 25ft. long brilliant white flame, white smoke, and a brilliant shower of Ti sparks. This was definately the high point of these motors! These motors were coreburning as well, and to compensate for the common overpressurization of coreburning BP motors, the manufacturer reccomended that the igniter was installed at the bottom of the motor, allowing less propellant to ignite at once, reducing the chance of overpressurization. All of these things combined made for some pretty reliable BP motors....and they were visually pleasing as well. They had their problems, but beat out FSI and the Estes E15 by a lot...plus, when they CATOed it wasn't so bad because they created a huge plume of fire and sparks when they did. Unfortunately they, too are currently OOP, but the manufacturer says that he plans to bring them back someday. Rocketflite (www.rocketflite.com), the manufacturer of these motors also produces the famous "Magnelite" igniter kits. The Silver Streaks most common designations were the 24mm E60SS, the 29mm F104SS, the 38mm G160SS, and the 38mm H330SS. There were other designations in the past (the F104SS and H330SS' were both incorrectly marked as F50SS and H220SS for a long time), and the E60SS may have not been produced (can't remember), but it's planned to be produced for sure if the motors ever return (it, with some of the other motors are listed as "N/A" on Rocketflites order form). They also came in regular delay times as well as a "-0" delay time for direct staging. I really hope these motors come back! Never got to use one, but they're really cool. Some links to some pics are attached below...I hope that helped!

www.rocketflite.com
http://tjm.home.texas.net/PC310007.JPG
http://straylight.dhs.org/rocket/images/rap/streak.jpg
http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/CGibke/sstreak.jpg
http://www.liars.org/Ambassador/rk1.gif
http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/CGibke/onyx.jpg
 

Nite Builder

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Marv;
As it turned out , about 6 different people read your reply and were actually quite impressed with your knowledge of BP single stage motors and the Companies thereof. These people happen to all be family members "AND" there all rocketeers( L1'S, L2's and just plain know-it-alls). So needless to say, your ejamacation went a long ways.Thank you much........As for my problem on getting more impulse on single-stage motors, I believe I'll just take Von Braun's advice and that is: Give me your largest motor, and I'll just "cluster" it. But then , seeing how your the cluster junkie you probably already knew I would cluster my booster(s). :) What was just one D12-0 pushing up 3 stages has now evolved to a (3)D12-0 cluster pushing 5 stages.Well,that is the first stage anyways... In essence it goes > (3)D12-0's, D12-0, D12-0, D12-0, C6-7.The first stage 3 motor booster has a reducer(2.5 dia.-29mm) that manifolds the ejection flames toward the nozzle of the next stage. I've launched it 6 times now and all everyone mostly says is,"Where did it go"? Fortunately I got all the boosters and sustainer back every time. Just lucky I guess.....Hopefully I'll be able to post some pics of the launch real soon....Thanks again
 

marvSRG

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Good choice on clustering! (should've mentioned it as an alternative in my first post) Glad to see it's worked for ya. Now I'm a bit confused about your post, though...do you mean to say that you've decided on the cluster, and have built and successfully flown the rocket 6 times in these few days? I don't doubt that it would work, it just seems that the time frame is a bit off...I may have missed a bit of info, but at any rate, I'm glad it's worked. Clustering is always the way to go when you need a bigger motor but can't find it....ya just put a bunch of small ones together to equal it! But wouldn't it be nice to have the brillant, sparky, 25ft. long flame of an F104-0SS in the booster? Better yet, a cluster of 'em! I hope they come back, but with the current ATF situation I highly doubt it now. Glad I could be of some help. So now that you've built and flown it, care to tell us about it? Full design, more flight info....and pics? Show it if you can!

P.S.- I like that Von Braun philosophy...it's so true! I'm gonna use that.
 

Nite Builder

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Marv:
My bad on the lack of cluster info. I guess what I was trying to say was since larger staging motors are no longer available, I would have to stage"clusters".(I wonder if Von Brauhn ever did that?) Actually what I was thinking about doing was( this is a secret so don't tell anybody :) building one more 3 motor booster and using it as the"6th" stage. So now it would go>(3)D12-0'S to (3)D12-0's to D12-0 to D12-0 to D12-0 to C6-7. Think I will definetly lose it this time :)

Thanks again for all your info
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~>>>====> Fly High
 

marvSRG

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Oh, no...I understood the cluster/staging deal, I just didn't understand how you posted a question about the rocket just a few days ago (as if you were building it) but you say it's flown 6 times already. So basically, the way you put it it sounded like you built and flew the rocket in the week or so this post has been online. See what I mean? Anywho...good idea on staging clusters...and Von Braun did that, too. Saturn V, anyone?
 

doxiedog315

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;) Look over list @ u.s.rockets i think i saw some larger ones.
 

n3tjm

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Ok... Those motors are composites... and but staging composites are next to impossible. Also, none of US Rockets motors are legal, so if you order them... you will be breaking many laws. Also, if you do order from them, you will be lucky to get your order...
 

doxiedog315

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Ok,i'll stay away from staging comp. motors,still learning...and yes they are very slow to ship.........
 

Nite Builder

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Since starting this thread, I have seriously concluded that "thee" largest BP staging motor is an Estes D12-0. I appreciate all the info that ya'll have given(especially Marv, everyone liked that) and unfortunately clustering boosters seems to be the only answer at the time. However, only 2 clustered boosters are possible. A 3rd clustered booster? I think the burn rates will start to vary too much. I would be quite satisfied if all 3 motors in the 2nd stage "clustered" booster ignited. I mean, think about it, no 2 motors have exactly the same burn rate, so a 3rd clustered booster would be pushing it.

As for USRockets, forget it. As stated, their motors are not only illegal but go ahead and try getting one :-( ya aint gonna believe how difficult they are to acquire...........thanks for all your input all.

P.S. Marv... The 5 stage orbit has always been completed. I just would have liked to have "replaced" the clustered booster idea with the use of a "single" motor booster with more impulse. Now I know that won't be possible, but thanks none the less.
 
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